The battle over what legal text should be used for criminal cases has taken a new turn after barristers and solicitors expressed different preferences.
Both the Criminal Bar Association and the London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association have surveyed members asking which text they prefer - Blackstone’s Criminal Practice or Archbold Criminal Pleading, Evidence and Practice.
Although barristers overwhelmingly backed Archbold (75%), solicitors opted in favour of Blackstone’s (55%) - adding another twist to the already long running debate.
In July last year, the judiciary confirmed that Blackstone’s had replaced Archbold as the standard text in criminal courts. But some practitioners, particularly those who were used to Archbold, claimed the decision had caused ‘inconsistency and uncertainty’.
Both the CBA and LCCSA decided to survey their members to get a sense of whether any change was needed.
CBA chair Angela Rafferty said last week: ‘Many of our members have expressed concern that the change of official text was brought in quite suddenly and with little thought for those who use these books every day.’
The CBA said it would pass on the results of the survey to the judiciary.